RIO VISTA — About 158 million Americans are expected to do something on Halloween this year. It’s estimated they’ll spend about $7 billion doing it.
Count Rio Vista’s Robert Songey among them. For about 20 years, he’s decked out his house for the haunting celebration.
“I do it for my grandkids and the kids in the neighborhood,” he said.
This year he has about 15 inflatables, including a 12-foot ghost that changes color, an 8-foot cat with a head that moves back and forth and a pirate’s chest that opens and closes.
That’s just the openers.
There’s a Phantom of the Opera that plays scary music, a rat, about 6-feet long, surrounded by cats, and a horse and pumpkin carriage, complete with the grim reaper.
Songey tries to add two to three new ones each year. ”I’m starting to spill on my neighbor’s lawn,” he said. Other neighbors have started to deck out their houses and lawns, he said.
It takes him about three days to get everything in place. They come down the day after Halloween.
Christmas is his favorite holiday and he will decorate for that, too. The desire to get decked out for Halloween came via his father, a traveling salesman.
“The only time we saw him a lot was around the holidays,” Songey said. “They were special for him. We never knew what we were going to find under the Christmas tree. One time it was a pinball machine.”
Songey expects between 100 and 135 trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and at least that many photographs taken in front of his display.
He has a special 30 amp circuit to handle the power. A $400 to $450 power bill is common for Halloween and Christmas.
“It’s only twice a year,” said Pat Songey, his wife.
As Halloween draws near, Songey turns on the lights about 6 p.m. and will turn them off about 10 p.m. The house is on Amador Circle.
Pat Stockey, who lives on Dorland Drive in Fairfield, is a local legend for his Halloween decor. Sadly, this is the last year he’ll go over-the-top in Fairfield: He and his wife are moving to Colorado.
“We hope we have provided enjoyment and lots of forever memories to all those who have come by over the years,” he said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.
Daily Republic readers have shared the following addresses as other Halloween decorations worthy of a look.